The outpouring of support for the victims, survivors and loved ones of the massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub, has reached record-breaking financial status less than a week following the hate crime that claimed the lives of 49 members of the LGBT community in one night. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer made the announcement today, stating that the OneOrlando Fund had raised over $7 million for those affected in the Pulse nightclub shooting massacre.
The news conference on Friday also revealed that the officials would be changing the way they had originally planned to distribute the funds that were raised for the family of the victims and survivors from the shooting at the gay club. According to WESH, Dyer said that upon reflection and advice from others the money from the OneOrlando fund would now be sent directly to the survivors and relatives of the victims instead of the previous plan to filter it through various nonprofit agencies.
“It became very clear early on that there were families and individuals and victims that were in need and in need of compensation in very quick fashion — people who didn’t have groceries, didn’t have rent money — and there was very great need to distribute the money directly to victims and families.”
In addition to OneOrlando, the group known as Equality Florida also launched a GoFundMe campaign a few hours after the June 12 shooting. Thus far, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization has managed to also raise over $5.1 million since it went up and the foundation has actually raised the goal it had originally set and is now also aiming for $7 million. Several media sources have relayed that the money raised by Equality Florida is actually the largest ever achieved in the history of the crowdfunding platform.
The city of Orlando opened an assistance center following the early Sunday morning shooting at the Pulse nightclub and Dyer said that within the space of two days they was an overwhelming amount of persons seeking assistance, with a total of 94 families and about 256 people visiting the city’s assistance center. Dyer said that there have been 85 claims for compensation with the families of 49 of the victims filing for assistance with funerals. OneOrlando will be funding these.
Patch.com says that the mayor of Orlando says that to ensure that everything is done right and One Orlando funds are allocated properly, he has also reached out to the organizers of Boston’s One Fund, which was the name of the fund set up in the wake of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
“We want to do it right. We want you to know exactly what we’re doing. We want the people who have given the money to be comfortable with what we’re doing with the funds. We want to be as transparent and we want people to understand we want to be fair with the allocations.”
There have numerous other funds set up following the Orlando shooting, including one by the owner of Pulse and others by gay and Latin advocacy groups. The Florida Disaster Fund, which was activated in the wake of the tragedy, is another organization that has also heavily received support. Though the total donations raised is not currently available, the state did announce a $10,000 donation from the Magellan Cares Foundation would be added Wednesday. Gov. Rick Scott said that he is proud to know that so many support the survivors and victims.
As the investigation continues into the gunman Omar Mateen’s past and the motivation behind his shooting up the Pulse Orlando Night Club & Ultra Bar early Sunday morning, the outpouring of global support has been a bright spot in the tragedy. Mateen killed 49 persons and wounded 53 others before he was shot and killed by the police.
The shooting has been classified as a hate crime against the LGBT community as well as an act of terrorism. President Obama has once more called for gun control in the wake of the tragedy and after a 15 hour filibuster was held by democratic Senators recently, it seems that the Republicans are finally willing to discuss taking actions toward this goal.
On Monday, the Senate will be voting on four different gun control measures.
[Photo by David Goldman/AP Images]